The Halal Food Authority (HFA) has spoken out against claims made about its auditing and certification practices in light of the discovery of pork DNA in halal foods made by a producer it certifies.

It was revealed by the Food Standards Authority (FSA) on 1 February that the Ministry of Justice had found traces of pork DNA in halal beef pastry products intended to be consumed by prisoners in England and Wales. The food distributor 3663 then revealed it had taken products made by McColgan's Quality Food out of distribution because traces of pork DNA were found in some beef pastry products after testing.

In a statement, the Halal Food Authority (HFA) said it was working with the FSA and wanted to reassure the public that no pork meat was found in halal products meant for prisons in England and Wales. The statement said: "The products were being produced by McColgan's under contract for 3663 supplying food to prisons. This does not appear to be a deliberate attempt to introduce another meat. Instead, traces of pig DNA in meat products were found as a result of ultra-sensitive DNA testing."

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